The isolation of Nutrano’s citrus farm means it has been hard to find workers who will stay for a whole season. The business joined the Seasonal Worker Programme in 2017 and now employs a large group of workers from the Solomon Islands. Many of the workers have built new houses, and the workers have also built a new church in their village with the money they have earned working in Australia.
Nutrano Produce Group’s citrus farm in Victoria is in an isolated area 50 kilometres south of Mildura. The business has found it difficult to recruit enough workers who will stay for a whole season to complete the work that is required on the farm.
To address this problem, Nutrano joined the Seasonal Worker Programme in 2017 and now employs around 40 workers from Solomon Islands.
“Having the workers here is a massive bonus and a major boost to our system,” farm manager Andy Hancock said.
“They are all very willing to work and adapt well. With them we can better manage our workforce and have the flexibility we need.
“First impressions last the longest. From the day they arrived they have been first class. They have embraced the opportunity to work in Australia and have done themselves and their families proud.”
The Solomon Island workers are all from the Kakabona village, which is 10 kilometres from the capital, Honiara.
Many of the workers have used the money they have earned at Nutrano to build new houses in their village and a church.
“This programme isn’t just about our company getting reliable people to work on our farms—of course that’s part of it—but the more we get to know about the workers’ backgrounds and their living standards back home, the more important it is to us that we can give them this opportunity,” Andy said.